MHC Welcomes Class of 2017

First-year students, including Lauren McGraw, arrive on campus.

They’re heeeeeeeeeeere! Early September brings the annual wave of new students to Mount Holyoke College, and this year the “sea” will be green, the color of the class of 2017.

Mount Holyoke will welcome 527 new first-year students, 36 new transfer students, and 25 new Frances Perkins Scholars (nontraditional-aged students) when it launches the new academic year on Tuesday, September 3, with convocation ceremonies at 11:30 am in Gettell Amphitheater.

"Mount Holyoke starts its second 175 years with a class that exemplifies our commitment to academic excellence, diversity, generosity, and community," said Diane Anci, dean of admission and vice president for enrollment.

Michelle Brooks-Thompson ’06, a recent contestant on NBC’s The Voice, will sing as a special guest during convocation.

Incoming Class Profile

The first-year class was selected from 3,732 applicants—the second-largest group in the College’s history—and students hail from 35 states and 34 other countries. Diversity is a hallmark again this year; 26 percent are international students and 29 percent are American students of color.

New England is the region most heavily represented in the new class at 27 percent, followed by the mid-Atlantic, West Coast, southern states, and central states. The largest proportions of international students come from Asia and Europe.

Members of the new class attended 448 high schools. Of those, 55 percent were public schools, 35 percent were private, and 10 percent were parochial schools.

Convocation Preview

At convocation, students traditionally wear inventive costumes in their class color (red, green, blue, or yellow), and seniors don caps and gowns for the first time in the opening procession.

Brooks-Thompson, who wowed audiences last year on NBC’s popular sing-off show The Voice, will start convocation on a spirited note. Greetings and remarks will be offered by President Lynn Pasquerella, Student Government President Vanessa Keverenge ’14, Academic Dean and Staff Council member Luigi Solla, new Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sonya Stephens, and Jennifer Sanborn, interim dean of religious and spiritual life.

The Glee Club, directed by Lindsay Pope ’07, will perform Moravian folk poetry in song; the College’s West African Music Ensemble will drum; and Brooks-Thompson and the Glee Club will lead the crowd in singing the Alma Mater to close the event.

A picnic for the entire Mount Holyoke community on Skinner Green will follow convocation. Classes begin on Wednesday, September 4.

In the event of rain, the community picnic will be cancelled. Convocation will take place in the amphitheatre, rain or shine, but in the event of dangerous weather in the morning, convocation will be postponed until 3 pm.